February 17, 2014 | Vol. 95, No. 40

Large crowd for Wakefield ice fishing contest

WAKEFIELD - The fifth annual Wakefield Volunteer Fire Department Ice Fishing Contest was held at Sunday Lake and the Wakefield V.F.W. on Saturday during Michigan's Free Fishing Weekend.

Pat Krause/Daily Globe photo
Elizabeth Burns, 7, left, and her 5-year-old brother, Robert, of Northbrook, Ill., ice fish on Sunday Lake Saturday.

The contest brought out 661 ice fishermen, including 459 adults and 202 children. Each one went home with a door prize.

"The ice fishing contest has been going on for 30, 40 years and the Fire Department took it over from the V.F.W. five years ago," ice fishing contest volunteer, Mike Yon, said. "The Ice Fishing Contest is the second biggest social event in Wakefield. It's geared toward the children and each child will be guaranteed a prize this year. It's a fun event and it gets the family out together."

Yon said 159 donors contribute to the event, including some from as far away as Minneapolis and Illinois. But most donors are local people and businesses.

"We couldn't do this without the donors." Yon said.

Twenty-four firefighters, their spouses and other volunteers put on the ice fishing contest.

There were two categories to catch fish in. They were the walleye/pike/sucker and perch/panfish categories. There was a $100 first prize in both categories and a $50 prize for smallest fish and $25 for first registered fish.

Thirty-seven fish were caught. Results included:

- First fish registered: 7 1/2-inch perch, Emma Neimela

- Smallest fish: 4 3/4-inch perch, Bryce Granato

- First in the perch pan fish division: 12 1/2-inch crappie, Melody Jacobson

- Second place: 12 3/8-inch crappie, Tyler Zakula

- Third place: 11 1/4-inch perch, Jared Jensen

- Fourth place: 11-inch crappie, Ryan Shirkey

- First place in the pike division: 24 1/2-inch northern, Nicole Demarath (only legal fish caught in that division).

The winner of the 50/50 drawing was Kristi Yatchak. The prize money was $1,830.

Some people came to fish and others came to socialize at the Wakefield V.F.W.

Members of the Wakefield Volunteer Fire Department thanked those who supported the ice fishing contest. Proceeds from will be used to purchase fire suppression equipment for the firefighters.